I can’t believe how time as flown, or how negligent I have been in recording our weekly happenings. It seems like we go to Ulpan in the morning, come home and eat lunch, and then spend the afternoon doing homework or trying to learn Hebrew. Once a week we go to the grocery store, usually Osher Ad (usually on a Wednesday) and pick up what we need for the week. We are only eating fruits and vegetables in season. We’ve enjoyed persimmons, kohlrabi, and just recently, citrus fruits and artichokes (pronounced “artishok” in Hebrew).
We are enjoying a break from Ulpan for Hanukkah, so I have a chance to catch up:
Week of September 2nd
It’s very hard to get used to Sunday being a “real” day of the work week. Dina had her first full day of school, and Chaim and I started Ulpan. He is in the “Bet” class, and I am in “Gimmel” with Irit. There’s an interesting mix of people from the United States, Canada, South Africa and England, with one gentleman from France.
The week went by quickly. We have class from 8:30 am to 12:45 pm with a break from 10:30 to 11:00. I have class on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Chaim has class on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. So far we don’t have books or a syllabus.
Week of September 9th
This week turned out to be a lot fuller than the previous one. Moshe tried out for the local boys’ choir on Monday evening. The leader of the choir thanked us that Moshe did not sing “V’Zakeini” and chose “Kol HaOlam Kulow” instead. Out of 30 tryouts, about 20 sang “V’Zakeini.”
Tuesday we went to the hardware store and bought some basic aronot, or clothes closets for the kids. As per the clerk’s instructions on Sunday, we went to the store at 3 PM to pick from the latest delivery. We had decided to get two small dark wood ones for the boys, and a larger light wood for Dina. It turns out they did not have two dark wood, so we took one dark wood and one light wood. The clerk, Yisrael, said he would come to the house at 5 PM with the cabinets and put them together. After the hardware store, we stopped at the grocery story. Since Rosh Hashanah is next year, it was a little hectic. We got on line, and the person in front of us was paying with a check, which always seems to be problematic. Then his wife kept bringing more items to the checkout. Chaim was very nervous we wouldn’t make it home in time, but I told him we would rather deal with this then the impending (and insane) crowds doing holiday shopping. We finally finished and got home at 4:55 PM. We had a bar mitzvah that night at 7 PM. Yisrael ended up arriving at 7 PM and didn’t leave until almost midnight. I went to the bar mitzvah at 8 and I was home by 9:30 pm. We waited until Wednesday to empty the suitcases.
On Shabbat I went to hear the bar mitzvah boy at BTYA, and Chaim went to Aish Kodesh and then stopped by the Kiddush. Then we went to a family for lunch. I had met the wife at one of Rebbetzin Smiles Shabbos afternoon shuirim. Rebbetzin Smiles asked those who were new to the community to stand up. This woman was the only person who made a point of coming over and welcoming me. Lunch was interesting. Neither the husband nor wife would tell us what they did as jobs. They told an interesting story of how they took a wrong turn and ended up in an Arab village. They had some seminary girls as guests as well.
Week of September 16th
Everyone is off for the holidays. On the first day, Dina and I went to hear shofar at Aish Kodesh. After a long introduction in Hebrew, we finally heard it, and then we left. Sometimes it amazes me how different the men’s section can be from the women’s section. Chaim keeps telling me how nice everyone is and how warm and welcoming they are. Upstairs, we got some stares and no one said “boo.”
On the second day, we ran over to the synagogue across the street, which is definitely “Dati Leumi.” After a quick intro, the shofar was blown. I got such a positive vibe that I decided to stay for Musaf, which was lovely – nice tunes, everyone participating – they even had someone handing out little paper mats for when you bend down for “Aleinu.” We had another family who recently made aliyah over for lunch. I don’t think I had anything left after the meal.
Moshe got into the choir, and his first practice was Thursday.
Week of September 23rd
No Ulpan, but the kids had school on Sunday and Monday. Yom Kippur was relatively short here because they changed the clocks right before. The kids are now off until after Sukkot.
Week of September 30th
It’s very exciting for be celebrating Sukkot in Israel, observing only one day of Yom Tov at the beginning and at the end, and having our own Sukkah. There are wood slats mounted on the patio off the kitchen, and Chaim added more and bought the schah. He also got cots for the boys to sleep in the sukkah. It turned out to be a little muggy, so between the bugs, the air conditioners going on and off, and the neighbors making noise, they all came in and slept in their beds.
After dinner the first night, we went to neighbors for dessert. We ate lunch the first day at different neighbors, and we spent time next door visiting with our neighbors’ parents.
I had a job interview over the phone. It’s for a project creating MARC records for online publications. Thankfully, it does not pay minimum wage and I do not have to commute.